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Mo Wilson, Alex Wild win Lake Sonoma MTB ‘Hopper

The fourth race in the Grasshopper Adventure Series was for the mountain bikers.

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Turns out that sea otters and grasshoppers make a good pair.

Fresh off their first and third place finishes at the Fuego 80k at the Sea Otter Classic one week ago, Mo Wilson and Alex Wild won their respective races at the Lake Sonoma MTB Grasshopper Adventure Series race on Saturday.

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Wilson, Caroline Dezendorf, and Vida Lopez de San Roman on the Lake Sonoma MTB podium.

The fourth of the 2022 Grasshopper Adventure Series races, Lake Sonoma was a pure mountain bike course, recommended for experienced riders only. The 30-mile loop took in 5,000 feet of climbing and included only one two-mile paved segment. Conditions on the day were sunny and warm, with recent rainfall making the trails tacky and the creek crossings deep.

Both Wilson and Wild used the first paved climb to distance themselves from their field.

“I was pretty motivated to thin out the group on the climb to the singletrack,” Wild said. “I just wanted to make sure that we were not a big group and getting shuffled around so I hit it pretty hard on the first climb. Two riders were able to go with me, and I worked my way to the front.”

Alex Wild digging deep. (Photo: Brian Tucker)

Not far into the singletrack, Wild took a bad line and smashed his front tire into a rock and flatted.

“It took three or four minutes to fix it and I started chasing,” he said. “I caught everybody but the three lead riders then we hit that super steep fire road climb to the finish and I was able to find them all on that climb and punch it over the top. I think I won by the skin of my teeth.”

Wild finished less than 20 seconds ahead of Ian Lopez de San Roman, an 18-year-old from Sebastopol, California, whose 16-year-old sister Vida Lopez de San Roman finished third in the pro women’s field.

This is Wilson’s third series win of the season; the 25-year-old has won every ‘Hopper she’s raced this year.

Mo Wilson has no problem dropping men; she finished 13th overall. (Photo: Brian Tucker)

Both Wilson and Wild put in impressive performances a week ago at Sea Otter. Wilson rode a tight race with Lea Davison, Evelyn Dong, Alexis Skarda, and Sofia Gomez Villafañe and was able to drop Skarda and Gomez Villafañe on the final punchy climb before the finish.

Wild also rode in front all day and rode to a blistering sub-three-hour finish, one minute behind race winner Keegan Swenson.

Wild’s ‘Hopper win falls on the heels of a low-volume period in his schedule, but like all riders competing in the Life Time Grand Prix series, he will soon be building up toward Unbound Gravel.

“We did a little bit of taper into Sea Otter and then a de-load week last week so we had two lower volume weeks,” he said. “So we’ll build from now, do Whiskey 50 and then build all the way through Unbound. I’ll so some longer stuff and test out some hydration and fueling for that.”

The next race in the Grasshopper Adventure Series is the Sherwood Adventure on May 15. The Sherwood Adventure is 90 miles with 8,500 feet of climbing, including 35 miles on gravel. For that race, 72 miles of the course are timed.

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Amity Rockwell is all smiles on the singletrack. (Photo: Miguel Crawford)

Grasshopper Adventure Series Lake Sonoma MTB pro women’s results

  1. Moriah Wilson, 2:35:31
  2. Caroline Dezendorf, 2:43:51
  3. Vida Lopez de San Roman, 2:45:20
  4. Caitlin Bernstein, 2:47:38
  5. Lauren Cantwell, 2:50:32
  6. Amity Rockwell, 2:55:38

Grasshopper Adventure Series Lake Sonoma MTB pro men’s results

  1. Alex Wild, 2:16:36
  2. Ian Lopez de San Roman, 2:16:53
  3. Justin Peck, 2:18:27
  4. Sandy Floren, 2:20:07
  5. Ted King, 2:23:33
  6. Levi Leipheimer, 2:26:33

Full results here